THE BASIC PLAN
So what are the basics of Part "D" -
-(Part D is the Medicare Prescription Drug program)?
signed by President Bush is 411 pages long, and
takes a CIA decoding team to understand. Do we dare
try to summarize it on one page?
Since 2006, Medicare Part D offers some
help with prescription drugs. The coverage is
voluntary, handled by private insurance companies, and
the monthly premium varies depending on how much
coverage you have. You can get the part D benefit in a
policy that is considered a "stand alone" (covers only
drugs), or in a Medicare Advantage plan which
incorporates Medicare Parts A, B, and D in one policy
(and is sometimes called Medicare Part C)..
Under Medicare Part D, private
insurance companies (Prescription Drug Plans, called
PDPs, or existing Medicare Choice plans, which will be
renamed Medicare Advantage plans) will enter into
contracts with the Department of Health and Human
Services to provide insurance for prescription drugs.
The coverage and requirements, such as use of
formulary drugs, under the plans will vary by region
to reflect differences in provider costs and patient
demo- graphics. In 2006, first year of the program,
the premium averaged $35 a month ($420 a year). In my
area there are 55 Prescription Drug Plans for 2010.
Premiums range from $16.70 to $110.70. Most have no
coverage in the gap, or "donut hole". Those that do
cover the donut hole, offer only some or all generics,
except for one that covers a few branded drugs.
Premiums for these 55 plans seem to be averaging about
$50 per month .
For information on Part D, as well as
other prescription drug information and links,
Charts, and the
To assess what is best for you, talk
with a senior representative in your state. There are
folks employed to do this very thing. Or go to
to search for Part D plans available in YOUR area..
D Charts for years 2006, 2007, 2008. 2009. 2010